Do you believe religion has negative mental repercussions?

It appears that extreme religious delusion poses some threat to the sanity of the human mind.

Those who are no longer with religion say that they still have flashbacks to believing in "god", even sometimes talking to "him" when they are lonely, even praying in some sort. I myself no longer do this but the idea of god still drifts to me sometimes... I was with religion for 12 years of my life, it's very difficult to get those ideas out of my mind.

I'm guessing religion possibly has a (likely permanent) negative effect on the human brain, depending on how long the believer stays with the religion.

If you look at folks who are still deeply deluded with religion, they appear to be in some other kind of state than we are, almost as if they aren't entirely sure of what they are saying. It's very strange. In this case, I'm guessing religion does the job it was intended to do - to turn people in tho sheepish followers who do not dare question the validity of their beliefs.

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I've been out of religion longer than I was in...once in a great while I still have disturbing dreams about church. I still have the occasional nightmare about the abusive relationship I escaped 25 years ago. I still have nursing school nightmares and I've been out of school for 15 years. I think any negative experience marks you for life. The tellling point comes with how you deal.

No one will ever dare abuse me again. A few have been stupid enough to try. They won't be trying again. I still shudder at the thought of entering a church, but will do so for a funeral or wedding. I am a damn good nurse. I hated nursing school, but truly love what I do. Adversity can be overcome.

After that rant, I guess I have to say that, yes, religion can have a very negative effect on those of us who have the disturbing habit of thinking for ourselves. Good post. Thanks for letting me add my 2 cents worth
Religion teaches people to accept bizarre and antihuman dogma as the absolute truth.
Religion teaches unquestioning acceptance of indoctrination.
Religion teaches people to be uncritical, unskeptical, uncurious.
Religion teachs that normal human impulses are evil.
Religion teaches that normal human beings who have normal human impulses are evil.
Religion tries to shut off the inner light.
Religion teaches that science, learning, reason, and logic lead us away from good.
Religion teaches the unfortunate to accept their lot.
Religion justifies selfish power mongering, money grubbing, greedy liars in the name of god.

Unholyroller is right. People who survive religions, see the light, and move on, might heal and become tougher & wiser than they would otherwise have been, but there is a cost. I would not want to pass religion on to a new generation in the name of 'building character'. There are better ways for that.

Unholyroller - I bet you are a great nurse, too. Thank you for posting your thoughts.
Thanks, Daniel. Curling up and turning into a puddle of self-loathing goo was never an option. I'm too damn stubborn and that would be letting the bastards win. I think we can all agree that religion has a definate effect on the mind. As for actual brain structure.....that remains to be seen. I'm sure someone will do a study...sooner or later........if funding becomes available.......
I would have to agree with Sentient Biped here.  Religion teaches many horrible things.  You do become tougher and wiser as an Atheist.  As an Atheist you are capable of more critical thought.
I have not heard of any studies on brain activity of believers compared to non-believers. That would be interesting. I do think religion is harmful to the person holding the delusion. Women and children are abused and are trained to stay in violent situations because they must be in submission. Babies are considered born sinful. Parents are encouraged to use the rod on children, as young as babies. Children are taught to ignore scientific evidence and never question authority. And that's just Christianity. The harmfulness is compounded by the delusional electing their fellow deluded into our government and educational system. If the religious were just stupid that would be one thing. But they want to make and keep all our children stupid and submissive. That is harmful. Not taking religion seriously enough to never consider we may be forced one day to live under a theocratic government is something I take very seriously.

 

I know I am responding to a real old response by Sheryl, but I just had to post this video. It entails a segment on brain scans of an atheist and of a religious brain. Very interesting!

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wt0w7KF9eT0

Thanks for the post of the video -- I'm gonna watch this. : )
What I'm trying to say here, is that as soon as you could talk, you were taught to believe in something. You have that belief stamped into your mind as your brain is still developing.

Once you're out of that belief, that part of your mind is still there, and it just keeps bugging you. For me it still does, and I feel religion has permanently altered the way I am.

I'd say it has made you, at least partly, the way you are; if you are talking about being brought up religious. 

I was but didn't accept my now-dropped church until I was in my late teens.  I would say that prior to that I was much more gregarious and out-going; my church made me introverted and anti-social.  that was a definite alteration of who I was.  I am slowly working my way out of it but I guess for you I would need some specific examples of how you would say religion altered you to understand what you mean.

What's frustrating is to see people around you starting to use very good logic, but the wall goes up when god is involved. For example: My mother was talking about her husband, and said that he is too cool, never attacks any problems, dodges them, and says things like "everything is alright, etc." She was telling me that it's irritating because it's not reality. My nephew was talking about ghosts and other paranormal stuff, and said "I don't believe all that stuff, i need to experience it." But, when it comes to god, do not question them. A question just popped in my head; i'm wondering what happens to amnesia patients and their relationship with god?

This is funny, i wonder if yahoo received complaints? I just searched for the question about amnesia and god, but it was deleted >> For me, the top result is what i clicked; it may be the same for you > http://www.google.com/search?q=Amnesia+stop+believing+in+god&rl...:*&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&startIndex=&startPage=1 http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090330225601AA9skA7
Hey man! I am currently doing psychopathology an we are dealing with delusions in some chapter.I personally beleive when someone 'sees' god, thats a plain delusion. We like to believe that religion is the best and most rational idea ever but we dont want to acknowledge the fact that even religion do cause mental deseases. When someone speak in tounges that person is saying something which has no sense and he is not receving it from anyone but from himself. so when you see god, get mental deseases, speak something that doesnt make sense because of religion thats proof of -ve mental repercusions. thats all i have for now
My observation is that religion promises togetherness but teaches separation from each other.
Religion promises salvation but delivers a lifetime of guilt. (Very nice people believing they are sinful)
I do not know of a single religion that does not degrade women and harm children.
Religion provides a very reliable way to manipulate the masses into oppression.
Religion provides a way to justify the wealth & power of the few at the expense of the many.
Religion destroys the relationship between parent and child.
Religion requires a hierarchy and justifies violence, poverty, enslavement.

I do not know of a single religion that does not insist on degrading &controlling sex and parenthood and personal relationships.

I find that it is impossible to have a close relationship with someone who is religious, the shift in thought from humanist to god(s)-goddesses creates a chasm the religious cannot cross, the religious consider a non-religious person to be not only misguided, but incomplete.

I do believe that the "what is greater than you and I is we and us." I do believe that humans advanced because we can and do cooperate, not because we compete and make war. I believe we need each other, not god-religion.


I often say the Republicans were able to get the working class of this nation to vote against their own self-interest, because they promised religious laws and prctices in civic/public organizations, and the religious found it easy to believe because believing is what they do. No questioning, no matter how dreadful the result.

Look at the world, the most religious nations are the most backward, it does not matter what the religion is.

As always when religion is a dominating theme, progress slows and sometimes halts.

Religion cannot tolerate change.

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